Media release: Cooking up a career – an option on exam results day

ENTCS, Edinburgh New town Cookery School, ENTCS childrens classes, Edinburgh Cooking classes for children, Marc Millar Photography, PR photography edinburgh,

STUDENTS searching for their next move after finishing secondary schooling might wish to consider vocational training in the food industry – according to a leading, city businessperson.

Fiona Burrell, founder and principal of the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School, said courses offering practical training can very often lead to rewarding careers.

“It’s results day for students in Scotland, marking entry to the next stage of study.

“While university is a rewarding route for many, it is not the only way to forge a successful career, and even students who have worked hard to win a place at university sometimes find, after a year or so, that it isn’t what they want to do.

“Many students have come to us as an alternative to university and, in as little as three or six months, we have prepared them for a career in the food industry and they are set up for life.

“We have seen our graduates go on to a wide range of careers once they have completed a course with us.

“Many young graduates quickly find work with prestigious restaurants and catering companies or use the skills they’ve acquired to work as private chefs both in the UK and overseas. Others may go on to become the food stylists or writers of the future.”

Some ENTCS recent graduates include:

  • Isla Cruickshank attended the three-month Beginners Certificate course in September 2012. Since then, she has used her qualification to find work during gap years and university holidays, allowing her to travel, study and explore the world.
  • Daisy Neale attended the six-month Practical Cookery Diploma course in September 2011, a year after she left school. Since then she has been hard at work, which has taken her throughout the UK and to Europe.
  • Lucy Harding attended the six-month Practical Cookery Diploma course in September 2013 after deciding that university wasn’t for her. She has been very busy since she left and has formed an exciting career in food.
  • Roly Simpson had a 12-year career in estate agency prior to taking the six-month Practical Cookery Diploma course in 2016. He has recently set up his own supper club and bespoke catering business in Edinburgh called Toasted Radish.
  • Peter Simpson attended the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School in September 2015, when he took the six-month Practical Cookery Diploma, Peter owns and runs the Pennan Inn in Pennan, Aberdeenshire.
  • Emma Louise McGettrick attended the six-month Practical Cookery Diploma in September 2012. Since then she has worked in a number of Edinburgh restaurants including Mark Greenaway. She recently moved to London and is now working for chef, Robin Gill.

More case studies can be found at

The cook school offers a range of courses, recognised by the industry:

Six-month Practical Cookery Diploma: is the three-month Beginners and Intermediate Certificate courses, combined, and gives an immediate stepping stone into a rewarding career within a professional kitchen. Next course begins: 18 September 2017.

Three-month Intermediate Certificate course: is designed for people with a solid knowledge and ability in basic cookery. It’s ideal for those wishing to take their cookery skills to the next level or for competent cooks who wish to have a formal training. Next course begins: 8 January 2018.

Three-month Beginners Certificate course: provides comprehensive training in cooking practices run by professional chefs who are also excellent teachers. Designed for those who wish to enter the food industry, this course is the first step to learning classical cookery skills. Next course begins: 18 September 2017.

One-month course: basic cookery skills and an introduction to the professional kitchen. Ideal for students looking for work in shooting lodges, villas abroad or ski chalets over the summer/winter or on a gap year. It is also perfect for school leavers on their way to university or university students who want a skill to help them earn money in the holidays. Next courses: summer 2018.

Adds Fiona: “I would encourage any young person who is unsure of their next move to look at what they are passionate about. We are always impressed by the enthusiasm our students have for food and cooking, and we are able to teach the skills and practical planning that ensures they have the makings of smart businesspeople as well as being great cooks.”

For more details go to, call 0131 226 4314 or email

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